N’Djamena – Chad’s military junta said on Sunday it was suspending a summons for the country’s main opposition leader.
Succes Masra, head of The Transformers party, was summoned for questioning following clashes last week, when police cracked down on Transformers activists as they planned to stage an unauthorised rally.
Then, on Friday, as Masra’s car headed for the meeting with public prosecutors, police in the capital N’Djamena fired tear gas to disperse his supporters.
The junta now says it will suspend the summons, pending the outcome of a national dialogue.
The public prosecutor was “suspending his summons until further notice”, government spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah said on Facebook on Sunday.
He said it was to foster “a climate of restraint to allow the smooth running of the inclusive national dialogue”.
The Transformers are the most radical component of an opposition coalition that is boycotting a forum launched by Chad’s military ruler, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.
Deby took the helm after his father Idriss Deby Itno, who had ruled with an iron fist for three decades, was killed in April 2021 during an operation to fight rebels.
The junta has suspended the constitution and dissolved civilian government but vowed to hold “free and democratic elections” within 18 months.
These are tied to the outcome of an “inclusive national dialogue,” bringing together government officials, political parties, NGOs and armed rebel groups, that was launched by Deby last month after repeated delays.
After the launch, the dialogue ran into procedural wrangling, and its scheduled end has been pushed back by 10 days, to September 30.
Analysts say there is scant chance of holding elections within the 18-month timeframe, and point to an option previously announced by Deby under which the vote could be delayed by a further 18 months “if the Chadians fail to reach agreement.”